Tables fill the back dining room with booths lining three walls, each with a grill in the center. This is where the deliciousness begins.
But before the raw meat is served (looking more like art than food), indulge in a few of the appetizers. Japchae is a savory whirl of glass noodles, thinly sliced prime rib and fresh seasonal veggies. The Silken Tofu Salad boasts the smoothest tofu around with a dot of red pepper sauce on each piece for flavor with organic field greens, avocado, cucumber relish and daikon sprouts in a citrus parsley vinaigrette.
Other go-to choices are the Citrus Pear Salad and Blackened Salmon Caesar. The Sunset Soup (hand made pork dumplings, spinach, mushrooms and rice ovalettes in a clear beef broth) tastes like liquid heaven.
While there’s a ton of selections for the main course including Filet Mignon, Flower Chicken, Tiger Prawns, Fire Scallops and Wagyu Beef, my personal favorite is Bulgogi because of the thin slices. The marinade is sweet (but not-too) and tastes like the cook brushed a hint of honey over the meat.
You can’t go wrong ordering their cooked options either: Gyenari Braised Short Rib, Royal Black Cod and Fresh Atlantic Salmon.
For lunch, I couldn’t help notice that the Piknik Lunch Plates, served with rice, soup, tempura and japchae, were a steal for $11 to $13. I’d opt for The Gyenari Bibimbap – fresh vegetables, steamed rice, your choice of tender braised short rib, flower chicken or pan seared tofu topped with a fried egg and a blended chili soy dressing on the side.
For dessert, treat yourself to the Banana Crème Pie, Green Tea Cake Donuts (fresh, hot donuts with a buttermilk raspberry dipping glaze), the hazelnut brownie sundae or the Bright Bloom (a celebration of fruit for the senses).
In addition to dining in the back, you can also chill out in the front lounge/bar and order small plates, salads and sandwiches and quench your thirst with a plethora of sparkling, fruit and unique-tasting sakes and sojus.
For more information, call (310) 838-3131 or visit gyenari.com.